Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,182 posts in this topic

On 7/21/2021 at 3:49 PM, VKurtB said:

According to the government, “illegally exchanged” is identical to “stolen”. To me, also.

Not to me.  If the governement considered the release of 1933 Double Eagles to be a precursor to the destruction of the Republic, then they should have ordered their immediate sequestration and/or destruction.  They were just 1933 mint year coins -- nothing more.

If the coins were worth $35 per coin like the MCMVII High Reliefs right after their minting, nobody would have given a damn, Kurt.  Instead, they were worth $1,000 and more by the early-1940's and the government suddenly decided they shouldn't have been released.  When they sold for alot less in the 1930's, they didn't care.

What a shocker..............xD

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 3:57 PM, VKurtB said:

What if?  What if????? Come on!!!! By that time NUMEROUS museums had been told no coins could be released, even for museums whose mandates were keeping sets current. And this was the case all the way back to spring of 1933. On what possible PLANET do we get to “what if?” in 1937? Is there no LIMIT to what you will excuse in the pursuit of more Saints??? Whew!!!!

The burden of proof has to be on the government to prove that the coins were ILLEGALLY taken from the Mint.

They never did that.  I don't have to come up with "what ifs" -- the government should have to prove that ownership of 1933 DEs was illegal and that is how Switt-Langbord's came into the coins.

They never did.

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 4:36 PM, VKurtB said:

Here’s my core beef with people who think like you do on this issue, @GoldFinger1969. You START from the point of view of the outcome you wanted to see happen, in this case, 10 more 1933 DE’s out there somewhere. Then you backfill your historical beliefs (which I don’t think you actually really believe - you seem too smart) in order to create a scenario under which your preferred outcome might occur legally. I have had that “trained” (smacked?) out of me by my government service, 4 in County, and 13 in State (no federal ) including 14 working side by side with lawyers daily, literally every stinking day. I literally am more comfortable around lawyers and judges than with anyone else. They are “my people”. I think like they do. They are scum, when they’re in court, or at least the majority are. But judges are supposed to be “outcome agnostic” when thinking about issues, not driven by their preference for a particular outcome. You have that “luxury”. They do not. Too many rank and file lawyers forget they are “officers of the Court”, and those are the ones who are never considered for judgeships.

I look at every issue, or try to, from the starting point of, where is the harm. What happened to cause that harm? Try to correct that harm. Conversion of public goods to private gain is about as heinous as anything ever gets, to my way of thinking. I excuse NOBODY just because it means more coins. Not Switt, not McCann, NOBODY.

Charles Barber helped himself to 8 pattern MCMVII Ultra High Reliefs, something not available to other Mint employees or the public.  Was that authorized or illegal under the law ?

Show me where the possession of 1933's was declared to be ILLEGAL under the law.

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Barber's ownership of SG patterns and others was entirely legal. They were not coins, the director permitted the purchases.

There is absolutely no similarity in situation between 1933 DE - normal coins - and EHR $20 that were not legal coin at all. (This is part of the consistent misinformation, falsehoods and ignorance on which the Govt lawyers based their case - and it sold to the jury.)

Edited by RWB
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On 7/21/2021 at 5:36 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

The burden of proof has to be on the government to prove that the coins were ILLEGALLY taken from the Mint.

They never did that.  I don't have to come up with "what ifs" -- the government should have to prove that ownership of 1933 DEs was illegal and that is how Switt-Langbord's came into the coins.

They never did.

 

No, no, no, no, no!  All the government had to prove was that it was MORE LIKELY THAN NOT that the coins were liberated, by SOMEONE, ANYONE, by illegitimate means. That was ALL they had to prove. Now you can like that or not, but that was what the jury had to determine. AT NO POINT was the status quo ante entitled to ANY presumption. Why can’t so many people get this concept through their heads?

The government did NOT have to prove McCann was involved.

The government did NOT have to prove Switt was involved.

It could have been 1933, or 1937, or any other year in between. It could have been McCann, or yo' momma, or Casper the Friendly Ghost. It doesn't matter. The only thing they had to show was MORE LIKELY THAN NOT, was that SOMEBODY removed them without authorization. End of story, end of case.

 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 7/21/2021 at 5:39 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Show me where the possession of 1933's was declared to be ILLEGAL under the law.

Virtually EVERY document contemporary with the events shows that clearly. Literally the ONLY element that suggests it was okay was "common practice in Philadelphia" before the Presidential Order. There is VOLUMINOUS documentary proof from several contemporary sources, in writing, that 1933 DE's were not, and never would be, released and/or available. Or have you only selectively read?

By the way, Philadelphia has a LONNNNNNG history of believing sketchy stuff is okay because "we're Philly, we don't follow the law". Or the State Constitution, right up until this very day.

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:19 PM, RWB said:

Barber's ownership of SG patterns and others was entirely legal. They were not coins, the director permitted the purchases. There is absolutely no similarity in situation between 1933 DE - normal coins - and EHR $20 that were not legal coin at all. (This is part of the consistent misinformation, falsehoods and ignorance on which the Govt lawyers based their case - and it sold to the jury.)

Yes good point....but my point is that Mint insiders had perks and it's quite likely that McCann and/or others helped themselves to special coins at times to make a few $$$ on the side.   QDB has written on this.

Of course I can't prove it, but if the value of a 1933 Saint was alot lower and the people in possession of them were not the financial equivalent of today's hedge fund operators but farmers and seamstresses and day laborers....I doubt the Treasury Dept. goes all-out to confiscate.

JMHO....can't prove it, but nothing about the story leads me to believe who had the coins wasn't taken into account when it was decided to seize them.

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On 7/21/2021 at 11:23 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Yes good point....but my point is that Mint insiders had perks and it's quite likely that McCann and/or others helped themselves to special coins at times to make a few $$$ on the side.   QDB has written on this.

Had Barber not spent $160 to buy the patterns, they would likely have been destroyed except for the two in the Mint collection. Ordinary employees had no such access. (Note the fate of the small diameter $20.)

RE: "...it's quite likely that McCann and/or others helped themselves to special coins at times...."

There were no special coins, except for a few commemorative halves, made during McCann's employment at the Philadelphia Mint. In his job he had no access to the Engraving Department. There was nothing on which to make a profit and no legitimate way to remove coins or bullion.

As for the 1933 DE - The reason for McCann's investigation was because he, and another employee, had stolen circulation coins from the Mint and was convicted of theft. He was also investigated in relation to the missing bag of 1928 DE, but USSS and IRS could never establish a connection.

Sadly, the 1933 DE story is so polluted by speculation, innuendo, confusion and misinformation among collectors, that it's nearly impossible to have any kind of meaningful discussion. The facts are few. Mr. Tripp and I agreed on the basics; but he was allowed by the Court to discuss those, and I was prohibited by the Court from doing so. The jury thus heard only one side; and that circumstance was not something to be reviewed on appeal.

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On 7/22/2021 at 9:53 AM, RWB said:

Had Barber not spent $160 to buy the patterns, they would likely have been destroyed except for the two in the Mint collection. Ordinary employees had no such access. (Note the fate of the small diameter $20.)

RE: "...it's quite likely that McCann and/or others helped themselves to special coins at times...."

There were no special coins, except for a few commemorative halves, made during McCann's employment at the Philadelphia Mint. In his job he had no access to the Engraving Department. There was nothing on which to make a profit and no legitimate way to remove coins or bullion.

As for the 1933 DE - The reason for McCann's investigation was because he, and another employee, had stolen circulation coins from the Mint and was convicted of theft. He was also investigated in relation to the missing bag of 1928 DE, but USSS and IRS could never establish a connection.

Sadly, the 1933 DE story is so polluted by speculation, innuendo, confusion and misinformation among collectors, that it's nearly impossible to have any kind of meaningful discussion. The facts are few. Mr. Tripp and I agreed on the basics; but he was allowed by the Court to discuss those, and I was prohibited by the Court from doing so. The jury thus heard only one side; and that circumstance was not something to be reviewed on appeal.

The en banc Circuit held that there were evidentiary errors in the trial, but they were of no consequence to the result.

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On 7/21/2021 at 8:26 PM, VKurtB said:

No, no, no, no, no!  All the government had to prove was that it was MORE LIKELY THAN NOT that the coins were liberated, by SOMEONE, ANYONE, by illegitimate means. That was ALL they had to prove.... 

Why can’t so many people get this concept through their heads?

It could have been 1933, or 1937, or any other year in between. It could have been McCann, or yo' momma, or Casper the Friendly Ghost....End of story, end of case.

 

AUSA:  Sir, did you, or your designee, authorize the removal or sanction the expropriation of the coins in dispute from your facility at any time during the years in question?

Director, USM:  No sir.  

The Court:  Matter adjourned for sentencing.   (Bailiff, call the next case.)   🐓

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On 7/22/2021 at 10:40 AM, Quintus Arrius said:

AUSA:  Sir, did you, or your designee, authorize the removal or sanction the expropriation of the coins in dispute from your facility at any time during the years in question?

Director, USM:  No sir.  

The Court:  Matter adjourned for sentencing.   (Bailiff, call the next case.)   🐓

Not far off. Legrome could have saved everyone’s time, except ol’ Midge interceded.

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:36 AM, VKurtB said:

The en banc Circuit held that there were evidentiary errors in the trial, but they were of no consequence to the result.

Gee, what a surprise.  Someone wake up Legrome Davis and let him know !! xD

This article pretty much sums up my sentiments:

https://coinweek.com/featured-news/coin-rarities-related-topics-the-jury-verdict-in-the-case-of-the-langbord-1933-double-eagles-20-gold-coins/

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/22/2021 at 1:06 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Gee, what a surprise.  Someone wake up Legrome Davis and let him know !! xD

This article pretty much sums up my sentiments:

https://coinweek.com/featured-news/coin-rarities-related-topics-the-jury-verdict-in-the-case-of-the-langbord-1933-double-eagles-20-gold-coins/

 

I’m going to read your link, but I’m going to comment here before I do. I don’t give a rip what ANY numismatic publication has to say about this case, NONE! They are ALL hopelessly biased in favor of a “more coins for us to play with” mindset. There is precious little legal know-how displayed. It’s the same stinking sheet of music every day.

Okay, I see which link that is. That is the stupidest damned take on the Langbord case I’ve EVER read. And that takes in bushels of butt stupid. A horribly ignorant article. I’ve had that article black-marked for “epicly stupid” for years. It completely and utterly missed a) the relevant facts of the case, b) the proper standard of proof (preponderance, not reasonable doubt), and c) it completely missed who DID have the burden of proof (the Langbords). The government possessed the coins. They never relinquished title. They owned the coins. The Langbords wanted to pick the fruit of a poisoned tree.

Yes, there is and was a POSSIBILITY of an innocent transaction. THAT. DOES. NOT. MATTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It only matters what was more likely. RWB established “possibility” up one side and down the other, and did it well. That was NEVER what was going to matter. It was never enough to win. 

Question: Why does EACH AND EVERY existing 1933DE that has EVER been found, turned in, or confiscated have a provenance that passes through Izzy Switt? There was NOTHING routine about coin for coin swaps involving 1933 DE’s, or else there would be SOME SOMEWHERE that can’t trace to Switt, and yet there are none. This was an “inside job” cooked up for one crook, Switt. Even the Fenton/Farouk specimen went through Switt’s  hands. 

With the benefit of ten years of hindsight and several appellate and post-trial procedures, I HIGHLY doubt even Greg Reynolds would stand by that article today. What information source do I prefer? The writings of the courts involved. I have them all.

Edited by VKurtB
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The CW and other articles have the same problems as trying to discuss the 1933 DE - speculation, innuendo, confusion and misinformation - combined with a generous amount of ignorance on how the U.S. Mint operated in 1933. Again, not permitted to explain by the court. No one at the Treasury knew how the place was run back then - they did not keep their own records - and no amount of research over a few months could have possibly revealed what I was prepared to present and support with data. This would have effectively precluded any meaningful questions by Treasury counsel, so the Court prohibited any mention of reality, and sustained Treasury objection when we attempted to introduce it.

Now let's just drop the subject because the horse is long dead, chopped into dog food, and pooped along the roadside.

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On 7/22/2021 at 4:00 PM, RWB said:

Now let's just drop the subject because the horse is long dead, chopped into dog food, and pooped along the roadside.

I was going to re-ignite the rancor by suggesting a posthumous pardon for slick Switt, et al.  But as is usually the case on long-running, seemingly resolved matters, my timing is way off. Curses!

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On 7/19/2021 at 9:27 AM, VKurtB said:

Monetary policy seldom causes inflation.

Money Supply x Velocity = Price x Quantity my friend.  Inflation didn't follow 2008 because that downturn scared the out of everyone and "V" dropped like a rock. ("money velocity" or the number of times it turns over for the uniniatied).  Instead of commodity and goods prices going up, asset prices skyrocketed (the Stock Market) so Inflation remained "under reported" in the conventional way it is measured.  Gov't sleight of hand.

Covid has blown their cover through screwed up supply chains so badly that inflation as we knew it years ago has returned. (And they keep printing money and suppressing interest rates.)

With Money Supply going up

Velocity relatively constant

Quantity of Goods and services decreased,

Prices have nowhere to go but to the Moon (and they will get there before Musk, Bezos, et. al.)

The politicians say this is all temporary...

Fill up your car with gas lately?

We'll see....       

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On 7/23/2021 at 4:31 PM, Ross J said:

Can you tell I'm trying to change the subject?

Some things are too important to be left unsaid.  I say, Let it ride. And I'm glad the threadmaster chose to do just that.  (thumbsu

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On 7/23/2021 at 4:22 PM, Ross J said:

Fill up your car with gas lately?

Yep. Cost me $23.00 to fill the tank. That gives me a 670 mile range on my Camry hybrid.

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Still far cheaper in Alabama than where I came from, by a not insignificant amount. By the way, V is at an all-time low and still declining, short term variations aside.

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:27 PM, RWB said:

Yep. Cost me $23.00 to fill the tank. That gives me a 670 mile range on my Camry hybrid.

Huh ?  You couldn't have bought more than 10 gallons, you get that much MPG even on a hybrid ?

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On 7/23/2021 at 4:22 PM, Ross J said:

Money Supply x Velocity = Price x Quantity my friend.  Inflation didn't follow 2008 because that downturn scared the out of everyone and "V" dropped like a rock. ("money velocity" or the number of times it turns over for the uniniatied).  Instead of commodity and goods prices going up, asset prices skyrocketed (the Stock Market) so Inflation remained "under reported" in the conventional way it is measured.  Gov't sleight of hand.

Covid has blown their cover through screwed up supply chains so badly that inflation as we knew it years ago has returned. (And they keep printing money and suppressing interest rates.)  With Money Supply going up

Velocity relatively constant uantity of Goods and services decreased, Prices have nowhere to go but to the Moon (and they will get there before Musk, Bezos, et. al.) The politicians say this is all temporary...

Fill up your car with gas lately? We'll see....       

We had a 35-year bear market (rising yields, falling prices) in bonds from the end of WW II to 1981 when the 30-year Treasury topped 15%.  Since then it's been a 40 year downdraft in inflation and bond yields.  

Ed Yardeni likes to say that trade and open markets are deflataionary and 8 years after the peak in inflation/bond yields we had the end of communism and lots of new markets.  China opened up under Deng Xiaoping and you had TENS OF MILLIONS of new entrants to the labor force every year for close to 40 years producing cheap goods.  Asian Tigers, too.

Well, that all could be reversing now.  China is clearly seen as an unreliable WTO trade partner -- copyright violations, human rights problems, intellectual theft, computer viruses, Covid viruses, threats against S. Korea/Japan/Taiwan/other countries --  and their "1 Child, 1 Couple" policy from 1960-2000 is finally biting them in the butt as they now LOSE millions of workers a year. "Just in time" inventory has now been replaced by "supply chain diversity" especially with regards to China.  If they don't have cheap labor and they score lousy on ESG metrics and your warehouse can be seized by the People's Army, who needs it ?

China's labor forces is shrinking....wages are going up....forget per-capita, their GDP may not even eclipse ours in the aggregate as was expected to happen by 2025 or 2030.  They may not get much past 80-85% of our GDP. :o

Inflationary and deflationary trends take a while to form.  We could be making one big U-Turn from deflation to inflation or even moderate inflation (2-4% a year) which would be as big a change as double-digit inflation was in the 1970's.  If inflation is now 2-4% a year instead of 0-2% a year, bond yields have to go alot higher and that has implications for the stock market (bad), budget financing (terrible), pensions (good), the EU (bad), and lots of other things. 

Which brings me back to the 1933 Saints......xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/24/2021 at 9:24 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

China's labor forces is shrinking....wages are going up....forget per-capita, their GDP may not even eclipse ours in the aggregate as was expected to happen by 2025 or 2030.  They may not get much past 80-85% of our GDP. :o

 

Which brings me back to the 1933 Saints......xD

Something's off here... China has 4 TIMES the population the U.S. has! (Ever see that old Ripley's Believe It Or Not drawing of Chinese marching past a point five abreast with the caption that if they were all to march forever, you would never see the end of them?)  And what about all that free labor they've got? Prisoners, Uyghurs, Falun Gong, labor camp internees? China is an emerging power.  Have you seen that 99.999 kilogram gold bar they produced with a purity of 99.999%?  They're serious contenders -- and there is no telling what they are or may be capable of.

Now what was it you were saying about the 1933 Saints...

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On 7/24/2021 at 9:50 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

and there is no telling what they are or may be capable of.

We already know. They are the most prolific counterfeiters in the history of the world.

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On 7/24/2021 at 10:59 PM, VKurtB said:

We already know. They are the most prolific counterfeiters in the history of the world.

They counterfeit mostly their own coins for sale abroad.  I believe the North Koreans with their $100 USD "Super Notes" of incomparably superior quality are a far more substantial threat. But hacking ransomware makes everything else seem tame.

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On 7/24/2021 at 10:50 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

Something's off here... China has 4 TIMES the population the U.S. has! (Ever see that old Ripley's Believe It Or Not drawing of Chinese marching past a point five abreast with the caption that if they were all to march forever, you would never see the end of them?)  And what about all that free labor they've got? Prisoners, Uyghurs, Falun Gong, labor camp internees? China is an emerging power.  Have you seen that 99.999 kilogram gold bar they produced with a purity of 99.999%?  They're serious contenders -- and there is no telling what they are or may be capable of.  Now what was it you were saying about the 1933 Saints...

They are an economic power to be reckooned with just as the old USSR was a military power to be reckoned with.  But they may have peaked or are peaking just like Japan peaked in 1989.  Demographics are a son of a b****. (thumbsu

China has passed the Lewis Point on labor entrants and if GDP growth is a function of inreases in productivity and labor supply, the latter is no longer positive but negative (the U.S. still has positive because of immigration and birth rates).

Which will eventually show up in GDP figures in coming years....and no doubt prove provenance of ownership for those 1933 Saints.  (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/24/2021 at 9:15 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Huh ?  You couldn't have bought more than 10 gallons, you get that much MPG even on a hybrid ?

Yes. The current generation of hybrid uses the same idea as 19th century did for the flywheel. A hybrid battery back is an energy moderator - just like a massive flywheel once was. It smooths total energy supply to augment high demand and store during low demand. The drawback is that a hybrid combines a normal internal combustion power system with battery supplement - two complexities for the price of one. The inverse hybrid would be an electric power system with an internal combustion supplement - simple power and drive system with a non-drive electricity producer. This latter approach greatly reduces range anxiety and recharge lag currently retarding total electric vehicles.

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On 7/24/2021 at 10:59 PM, VKurtB said:

We already know. They are the most prolific counterfeiters in the history of the world.

Sad but true... 

I was not aware of many Saint - Double Eagle counterfeits (other than the "omega" high reliefs.) until I got a copy of Bill Fivaz's 2005 "United States Gold Counterfeit Detection Guide"  

He has entries for 1907, 1910, 1910-D, 1913, 1915-S, 1921, 1922, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1927-D, 1929

Have any of you ever come across any of these? 

(Incidentally, gold plated so called copy "tribute" coins don't count, since they are so awful and could never be mistaken for a real coin...)

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